Monday, October 31, 2011

Trivial Matters

On my trip to and from Las Vegas last week, I needed something to take my mind off the fact that I was in a Delta 757 airliner with its six-abreast “small seat, even smaller aisle” seating. Gotta tell ya, I re-e-eally dislike that plane.
Plus the fact that it has only two engines and if one fails half-way to the mainland (or back), we’ll have to try and complete the trip with just one engine. Kind of like donating one of your two kidneys – you really have to be careful after that.
Remember the movie “The High and the Mighty” starring John Wayne? Yeah … like that.
So anyway, whenever I’m on one of those planes, I turn on the “personal video screen” mounted on the back of the seat in front of me. If I’m sleepy, I tune it to the continuous moving map that shows the planes location at any given time.
Once in a while, however, I’ll play the Inflight Trivia Challenge against other passengers on my flight. The questions are pretty tough, and about 80% of the time I’m making a guess – sometimes educated, sometimes “out of the clear blue sky.”
That’s what I did on my outbound flight. I played the trivia game about an hour from landing. I didn’t think I did particularly well; that is, until I saw the closing tally. I actually had the second-highest score among all those who’d played the game throughout the flight.

"Giarc" (second from the top) ... that's me. "Craig" spelled backwards.
Wow. Except for that Robert guy who was seated up front, everybody else must be pretty … er, I don’t want to say dumb, so I’ll just say “less informed than I was.”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Points of View

Here. Read this ...
... And this is why a man should never try to explain something to a woman by rationalizing with logic.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beautiful Pods

(L) Autograph Tree Leaves and Fruit and (R) Seed Pod
During one of our walks at Kakaako Waterfront Park, the wife and I noticed some startlingly strange, yet beautiful, seed pods on the ground under the trees lining the seaside walkway.

I'd never taken notice of them before (can you believe it?) despite all the times we've taken our exercise at the park.

It turns out that they are from "Autograph Trees" (Clusia rosea), so named because you can actually write on the leaves (scratch with a sharp object), removing the dark green layer, which shows the lighter green beneath.

Anything you write will stay as long as the tree branch holds on to the leaf, which in Hawaii (because we have no fall) could mean weeks, perhaps months.

Despite their beauty, Autograph Trees (also known as Signature Trees) are very invasive. Birds eat the pulpy fruit and poop the seeds where they may, resulting in more plants, even in crooks of other trees.

I've read that lovers leave messages to each other this way, although I haven't seen any yet. Maybe the next time I'm there, since I know about its properties now, I'll write a limerick about a bird. Or perhaps, I'll leave a love note to no one in particular ... maybe a date, time and location for a tryst ... and see if anybody shows up there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Outta Town, Shutting Down

Just to let you know ...

I am going out of town tonight for a few days (scored some free room nights in Las Vegas), and won't be taking my laptop with me. So I'm suspending my blogging until I get back at the end of the week.

You all take care of each other now, y'hear?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where Hawaii Ranks 6

It’s always interesting to discover where Hawaii and/or Honolulu ranks in certain categories. Sometimes it’s good news, sometimes it’s bad news. This list is about bad news.
Workplace Methamphetamine Use (Quest Diagnostics)

1.       HAWAII (410% greater than national average)
2.       Arkansas (280%)
3.       Oklahoma (240%)
4.       Nevada (180%)
5.       California (140%)

Unemployment Rate (Brookings Institute, 2Q 2011)

1.       Omaha (5.0%)
2.       Oklahoma City (5.7%)
3.       HONOLULU (5.7%)

Longest Airport Security Line Wait (Transportation Security Agency, 2011)

1.       Washington DC Dulles (31 minutes)
2.       Orlando (30)
3.       Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood (30)
4.       HONOLULU (25)
5.       Salt Lake City (25)

Q2 2011 Mortgage Debt per Borrower (TransUnion)
1.       Washington, DC ($369,334)
2.       California ($335,070)
3.       HAWAII ($311,183)
4.       Maryland ($249,237)

Lowest Owner-Occupied Housing Units (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010)

1.       New York (54.3%)
2.       California (55.6%)
3.       Nevada (57.2%)
4.       HAWAII (58.0%)
5.       Rhode Island (60.8%)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

George Costanza Night at the Ballpark

You know who George Costanza is, right? He’s that nerdy, bespeckled male-pattern-balding guy on the old TV comedy series, Seinfeld. Yeah, that’s the guy … George.
If you’re a fan of the show, you might remember the 2003 episode where he decided to do just the opposite of every instinct he has. I mean, he recognized he was sometimes such a loser, and wanted to change it all. It worked – he got a girlfriend, his own place (finally), and his job with the New York Yankees.
And that’s where the Fort Myers Miracle – the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Minnesota Twins – comes in. They had a “George Constanza Night” at the ballpark, where they did everything opposite:
·         The scoreboard started in the 9th inning and ended in the 1st.
·         Did you park your car? They paid for your parking.
·         Box seats went for reserved seat prices.
·         The team wore their road uniforms.
·         The men’s and women’s restrooms were switched. (Yikes! The urinals!)
·         After the game, the players asked fans for their autographs.
I love minor league baseball promotions.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cat Nap

I've always had trouble taking a nap during the day. The only way that happens is if I doze off while watching TV or while reading. And it's gotta be a warm day.

But put me in a bed with a pillow and warm blankets, turn off the lights and television set, and leave me alone all by my lonesome, and I'll just lie there with my eyes closed and will never ever fall asleep. Not since the '80s anyway.

They say that a 10-minute nap every afternoon will make one a wiser and more alert person. The Hispanics take siesta every day, a very good custom, I think. But I can only imagine how I would lie there, under a tree, a big sombrero covering my face ... wide awake and contemplating the inside of the sombrero.

I saw the cat in the picture above just snoozing away near a bench where I sat to rest my little tootsies. Normally at Kakaako Waterfront Park, the resident feral cats don't like being approached and will rise up and walk away from you.

Not this little kitty. I sat down right next to it and it didn't bat an eyelash. Must have been the warmth of the day, but as I gazed upon this peaceful bundle of sleeping feline, I could feel my own eyelids drooping.

Are yours drooping as well? Are you getting sleepy? You are, aren't you. You're getting sleepy ... sleepy ... sle-e-epy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Perfection + Purpose

Is perfection really necessary? I think so.
Perfection is what we should try to attain in everything we do. Sometimes it’s impossible to achieve, but if you strive for it, whatever you accomplish will be the best you can make it.
“Nobody’s perfect.” You’ve heard it before, and it’s true. Still, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t strive to be perfect. Mediocrity has no place in this world.
What if Thomas Edison was satisfied with mediocrity? No light bulbs. What if Leonardo DaVinci was satisfied with mediocrity? No Mona Lisa. What if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates were satisfied with mediocrity? You might not even be reading this on your computer or other electronic device.
Perfection is great, striving for perfection is better, but striving for perfection with a purpose in mind is best. Anything worthwhile gives meaning and purpose to human life. Everything worthwhile provides for the betterment of society.
I think … that we are all born pure and innocent and perfect. And that the purpose of our existence is to grow into people who can serve the public good and make life better for humanity, to give others a chance to strive for perfection.
And that’s about the size of it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Martial, NOT Marshal

As I was zipping through the channels the other night, looking for something to watch, I came upon the 2004 television miniseries, 10.5, about a huge series of earthquakes that ravish the nation's west coast.

Although I'd seen it before and had no plans to continue watching, my fingers held off pressing any buttons on the remote control.

And in those brief few minutes that flashed on the screen, what do I see but a MAJOR faux pas, an egregious error that you'd think somebody would have caught, one of those things that make you shake your head and wonder whether there's anybody in charge.

On screen was a newswoman reporting for the WNB TV Network, talking about the evacuations taken place. Beneath her were the headlines:

West Coast Evacuation
President Officially Declares

Can you believe it? The stupid producers don't know the difference between a federal agent (marshal, or marshall) and the military (martial).

I wonder if someone's head rolled because of this. Somehow, I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What the fgfgfg?

Boy … just when I thought the Honolulu Star-Advertiser had gotten its act together, they go and let their guard down. Check out the horrible editing error that appeared in yesterday’s paper:

And this is one good reason why my personal habit of writing headlines BEFORE filing my story pays off. It doesn’t matter if you’re filing it in a manila folder after using a typewriter, or filing it in a computer desktop folder, or prepping your notes to save in your iPad, or filing the story with your editor at the local newspaper.
I know at some news outlets it’s common to use a holder headline with every good intention to insert the real one before the final layout is approved. But see, you gotta actually remove the holder and replace it, don’t you think?
The really bad thing is … think of how many people had a chance to catch the omission. Writer, page editor, layout artist, everybody. People, you have to check these things before they run. You just gotta proofread your work, because once in print, in effect, it’s as good as chiseled in stone.
Can you just imagine what Dave Carpenter would say if he saw this? I’m sure it’ll be a little more incredulous than “What the fgfgfg!”
News media inattention. It's just another sign that the Apocalypse is coming.

P.S. Thanks to my former colleague, Cindy Leong Goo, for the reminder heads-up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On the Sands of Waikiki

I remember the first time I walked on the sands of Waikiki; I'm not too sure of the year, but I think it was in 1958 or 1959 when Dad brought us kids to Honolulu for a couple of days. 

See, we lived in Hilo and Dad didn't want us to grow up to be (as he put it) "country hicks." He wanted us to experience life in the "big city" so we could talk about it to our friends in school. Left unsaid was the underlying message that our friends in Hilo were hicks. 

Waikiki back then was pretty bare of hotels. That picture above was taken a few weeks ago from our table when I took the family to lunch at the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel (the "Pink Palace") at the Surf Lanai. See those hotels on the left? They weren't there the first time I went to Waikiki. 

The hotel we stayed in isn't there anymore. The Waikiki Biltmore was demolished in 1972 and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki emerged in its place. 

See those hotels on the extreme right of the picture? They weren't there either. 

And the pink beach chairs and pink umbrellas ... well, chairs and umbrellas like them may have been there, but I'm not sure. We didn't get to see the Royal that time. 

Ahhh, memories, sparked by a simple picture of people enjoying Hawaii's sun in the shadow of Diamond Head. Ain't life grand?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two Does Not Equal Three

The most recent Oceanic Cable internet service television commercial just goes to show that no matter how careful you are, if not everybody is vigilant, something will go wrong.
Here’s what I’m talking about.
The commercial makes quick cuts to various people – many of them well-known to Island residents – touting the speed of the cable company’s Road Runner internet service: “Fast!” “Twice as Fast!” and so forth.
But the problem is two of the exclamations used just don’t jive. One person says “Two times faster!” and another says “Twice as fast!” The two phrases don’t mean the same thing.
At the risk of sounding horribly didactic, let me explain: “Twice as fast” means just that. Something is going at double speed.
“Two times faster,” on the other hand, actually means something is going at triple speed. If something is one time FASTER, then it’s twice as fast. So it stands to reason, grammatically speaking, that TWO times faster means something is traveling THRICE as fast.
So I ask, which is it? Is Oceanic’s internet speed three times faster? Or is it only twice as fast?
I wonder if heads should roll over this major (not to mention embarrassing) faux pas that people can make fun of?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Forget the Tricks, We’ve Got the Treats

We’re ready for the hordes of kids that miraculously might appear at our front stoop on Halloween demanding a treat – a bribe – so they won’t have to play a trick on us.
Ah, who’m I kidding? We haven’t had any Trick or Treaters come to our door in a long time. If you’re wondering how long, I just figured out they stopped coming around the time my eldest son outgrew the custom – 1981, if you can believe that.
Thirty years. Thirty years since I’ve seen a costumed kid grace our doorstep carrying a pumpkin flashlight, with his/her parents hovering in the background watching to see if their little kids remember the right words to say with the right inflection that they’ve practiced for so long.
Thirty years. But the wife remains the eternal optimist and buys treats every year, sometimes even putting them in special Halloween goody bags.
This year, she spent $7.50 at Costco the other day to buy a huge jar containing 70 bags of pumpkin-shaped pretzels. She IS ready for Halloween.
Futile effort? Maybe, but she’s got that covered. We do have a bunch of kids in the neighborhood, replacing the ones that (like my sons) grew too old to mess with kiddy things like blackmailing the kind neighbor folks and demanding sweets.
The wife plans to hand-deliver these pretzels and other blackmail payments personally.
Kind of pitiful, huh? Oh well, if it makes her happy, who am I to argue.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Too many years ago (67 actually), another screaming, starving little child was brought into this world.

That kid was me. I grew up to become a semi-spoiled child, usually getting what I wanted, but under the guiding hand of a couple of terrific parents.

But enough of the self-aggrandizement. That's not what I wanted to talk about today.

See, I bought myself a birthday present yesterday -- an Apple iPad2. Having been a PC person since I bought my first computer 'way back in 1986, and having used an Apple when I worked for an ad/PR agency (and hating it and making fun of it), I wavered in commiting to actually buying an Apple product.

I was a little wary of the on-screen keyboard as well, and since I do a lot of writing, wasn't sure it would meet my needs. So I went to the Apple Store at Kahala Mall and gave their demos a good workout. Hey, I thought, this could work.

Then, I wanted to know if I could download pictures from my Sony Cybershot DSC TXT camera. No problem, I was told. Although Sony has its own proprietary downloading connection, an Apple cable gizmo just connects to that, and then to the computer. Voila! Concern abated.

But what sold me was the portability of the iPad2. It's so thin and so darned light, which will make it a delight to take with me on trips. Plus, I don't need a flat surface to set it up; I can hold it in my left hand and one-finger type with my right if I have to.

Gimme one, I told the nice man helping me.

They advertised their iPad2s start at $499. Did I get mine for that? Not on your life. I wanted a 32 GB hard disk, not the 16 GB one. And I wanted to connect with Verizon, which has my mobile phone account. So I ended up paying a couple of hundred dollars more. Oh, and the data plan I chose will cost $30 a month.

No problem, really.

Then, just to make sure I could input lots of copy, I bought the wireless keyboard as well. Oh, and don't forget, I needed the camera-photo download cord gizmo, so he added in that as well. Finish it all off with a nifty flop-fold leather screen cover and a case for the keyboard that folds back on itself to accommodate an upright iPad2, and there you go.

The screen cover attaches with a special magnet, and when you close it, it sticks firmly to the screen with another magnet. A special magnet, the guy told me. I took his word for it, hoping the magnetic field doesn't affect the data inside. After all, isn't that what they warned us about 'way back when?

And that's what I was doing all afternoon yesterday - setting up my iPad2. Jeeze, it was like Christmas. Or a birthday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cheap is Good!

If you live in the West, particularly in Southern California, chances are you've seen a 99 Cents Only Store. Perhaps you even have one in your neighborhood. And chances are, if you've seen one, you've gone in and bought a couple of things.

Created on the concept that sells all kinds of items from kitchen stuff to food, from toys to gardening tools, from bathroom items to auto produts, ad infinitum, for less than a dollar (the official limit is 99.99 cents), the chain has continued to be profitable.

Now comes word that founder David Gold has sold the company to a private equity firm and pension investment board for (get this) $1.6 billion. You read that right - $1.6 BILLION.

Just goes to show how well you can do just selling cheap stuff (or stuff cheap).

I kid you not.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Serenity of Two Ponds

If you've been to Moanalua Gardens Park on the "ewa" side of Honolulu, you may have had a chance to check out the King Kamehameha V summer cottage, which has been in its present location since 1960.

The cottage was built by Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who later became King Kamehameha V when he ascended to the throne.

Cottage and Taro Pond
Along with the property, the cottage was willed to businessman and landowner Samuel Mills Damon, who renovated it and used it as a residence.

Cottage and Koi Pond
Adjacent to the structure are two extensive ponds, one used to planting taro, and the other for raising koi (ornamental carp). The area exudes serenity with the only sounds being the distant conversation of tourists or families, and the twittering of birds.

The scene is luxuriant and green and a perfect setting for picture-taking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cutest Kid in a TV Ad

Have you seen the Capital One Money Back Card commercial on television yet? The one with Jimmy Fallon talking to a baby in a high chair?

That kid is the cutest thing on television today ... so much personality!

Looks like a boy to me, but I can't really tell. Does anybody know for sure? Here ... take a look:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Honolulu Orchid Society Show

It's been a couple of years since I last went to an orchid show sponsored by the Honolulu Orchid Society, so the wife and I drove down the street to Washington Middle School yesterday to take in the last day of their three-day show.

She was especially interested in seeing if she could get more information on how to divide and transplant her driveway orchids that are now coming into bloom again. Fortunately for her, one of her friends who used to patronize the family delicatessen is usually one of the vendors at these orchid shows we attend.

The flowers are beautiful, and every time we go to one of these shows, I see varieties on display that I've never before seen in my life. It's always a pleasure to spend an hour or so wandering among the floral beauty, despite the humid weather and the un-air conditioned cafetoriums they use for the show.

I took a lot of pictures; here are a few to brighten your day:

Cattleya Display

Dendrobium Hybrid, "Myra Myatt"

Vanda Pachara Delight, "Ken Ching," Winner, Best Strap Leaf Vanda

Cattleya Pink Empress, Ju-Sen

Cattleya Burana Angel, "Hsinying"
A goodly number of vendors occupy the perimeter of the large room, selling all of the tools and appurtenances an orchid fancier might ever desire. And, you can buy orchids of every kind as well.

There are always other plants for sale, like these multi-colored cacti that sit there on the tables like little jewels waiting to be purchased. At first, when I saw them from afar, I thought they looked like yellow, orange and pink Surinam cherries.

Good thing I didn't pick 'n eat 'em, eh?

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, Hibotan aka "Moon Cactus"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Homage to a Dove

Birdy, birdy in the tree,
Drop no dovey poop on me.
And when you flutter to the sky,
Drop no whitewash in my eye.

What’d I do to make you mad?
Will you poop and make me sad?
Please, I ask with all my heart,
Don’t upset my apple cart.

With love and respect, Craig

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sea Launch Odyssey

If you were driving along Nimitz Highway the past couple of days, you might have seen a huge floating structure at Pier 11, just makai of downtown Honolulu, where the cruise ships usually dock.
I caught sight of it on Thursday, as I was driving down Nuuanu Avenue on my way to the Regal Dole Theaters in Iwilei.
What I saw was the Sea Launch Odyssey, an ocean-going rocket platform here for fuel and stocks, on its way to Southeast Asia for dry dock maintenance. A couple of weeks ago, it launched a European broadcast satellite.

If you haven’t seen it, then you’ve missed your chance, as the Odyssey left Friday afternoon. It was last seen in Honolulu in December 2007. Hopefully you’ll get another chance sometime in the future.
If not, sorry 'bouddat.

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Eventful Day at the Movies

Since I was going to be home alone for a good part of yesterday, I decided to go to the Dole Regal Theaters and see a movie I’d been wanting to see – Dream House.
It turned out to be a good news/bad news event.
First the bad news:
1.       I got a slightly late start and then ran into all kinds of traffic impediments: Lots of trucks, buses, traffic cones, construction, street-crossing pedestrians.
2.       When I got there, I was in such a rush that I forgot to get my parking pass validated and was presented with a $12.50 bill by the parking cashier when I tried to leave.
3.       A bunch of yakkety teens sat in the back of the theater, providing the audience with a running commentary of how scared they were.
4.       Just at the climactic moment, about 10 minutes before the end of the movie, an alarm went off and a disconnected voice said there was an emergency situation in the building and for all of us to get up and leave.
Now the good news:
1.       The ticket person printed out my ticket along with a coupon for a free bag of popcorn I had earned.
2.       I got into my seat just in time for the nice people on the screen to tell us to turn our cell phones off. So I didn’t miss any of the movie.
3.       When the alarm went off, the yakkety kids left in a hurry, returned when someone outside told them it was a false alarm, and sat up front near the side entrance, far away from me.
4.       At the parking ticket booth, the nice lady asked if I’d gone to the movies and if I did, to give her my ticket stub and she’d let me out free.
It was indeed a good news/bad news kind of day. But it turned out okay in the end.
Yeah! Whew!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Go Pink!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month in the United States and this post is lovingly dedicated to those women I know and care about who have beaten back the disease.

The wife and her mother had their annual “chi-chi smash” session the other day at Kapiolani Hospital when they had their breasts squeezed and flattened – the dreaded mammogram. The pocket make-up mirrors pictured here were little gifts from the hospital, reminders that the battle continues.
They joined millions of other women who tolerate the examination, understanding that early detection (as so often is the case) is vital to the cure.
Ever since 1985 (has it really been a quarter century?), National Breast Cancer Awareness month has been observing through action a campaign to increase awareness of, and raise money for research to battle breast cancer.
Look for pink ribbons and the color pink everywhere. For example, if you watch NFL football in October, you’ll see the color pink in the players’ uniforms.
The 5K Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which celebrates breast cancer survivors, is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 16 in Honolulu. You should support any participant who asks you for help, because someone dies of breast cancer every 69 seconds.
Go Pink!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mind in a Pickle

Sound familiar? It does to me. How pitiful.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All Aboard!

A few weeks ago, when the wife and I were walking at Blaisdell Park in Pearl City, we chanced upon a little plaque installed in the concrete walkway along the edge of the Pearl Harbor waters:

“See Oahu by Rail” (right side of the sign) is one of the Hawaiian Railway Society’s catch phrases, so I’m assuming they had a part in installing the plaque.
Also, since it’s a City & County of Honolulu park, I’m also assuming that the “Honolulu Depot” the plaque is referring to is Oahu Railway & Land train terminal building near Chinatown, Downtown Honolulu.
And, since it’s a little more than 9.5 miles from Blaisdell Park to downtown Honolulu, I’m sure my assumptions are correct.
I know, I know … so many assumptions. But it’s all the fault of that cement plaque. It made me curious.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Menagerie of Facts

Sometimes I am just a veritable fountain of useless information. And it scares me.
For example, did you know that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear? I knew that. That’s why it can turn its ears from forward to back, left to right, lay them against its head, and do all kinds of stuff with its ears that we “superior” humans can’t do.
Snails can sleep for three years. Did you know that? I think it’s amazing. The most I’ve been able to sleep was oh, I’d guess about 18 hours straight during my first summer vacation after my freshman year in college. That was following three days at a friend’s beach house.
It was the beer that did it to me. I wonder if snails get that way from drinking beer? Nah, can’t be. The wife executes slugs by putting out pans of beer at night, and we all know that slugs are nothing but snails without shells.
Babies are born without kneecaps. They don’t get them until they’re a couple of years older, sometimes as many as six years older. No wonder they like to be bounced on grandpa’s knee. They’re jealous they don’t have knees.
There are more chickens in the world than there are people. I’m taking someone’s word for this because I’m in no condition to go out and count the chickens. Ahh, I just had a thought. No wonder the Chinese eat a lot of chicken; they’re trying to surpass its population numbers? Ooooh, that was a bad thought. Never mind.
And finally, while we’re on the subject of superlative numbers, did you know that all the ants in Africa weigh more than all the elephants there? And, correlative to this, I wonder if ants eat elephants?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kitchen Clichés

You think sports reporting is replete with clichés? You should try watching cooking shows.

We all know that flavor doesn’t weigh even a fraction of an ounce. It’s a sense, like sight or hearing or touch or smell. Is it possible to quantify how much any of those measure (except metaphorically)?
So why do TV cooking show hosts always talk about an ingredient or dish having “a ton of flavor”? Hell, if something that tastes good weighs that much, you wouldn’t even be able to lift it past your lips.
There’s a lot of talk about “popping” something into the oven. You can’t pop something into the oven, or the refrigerator, or the microwave. Have you ever heard a pop when you put something in something else? I betcha not.
Y’know, maybe cooks are running out of words to use. Maybe cooking show producers want to ignore common English phrases and mix their metaphors, thinking the monologue will sound more interesting. Not! It just makes cooking hosts sound stupid.
And how come they still use outdated and archaic words and descriptions? There’s no such thing as “tin foil” anymore. It’s “aluminum foil.”
And what about "iceboxes"? We haven’t had iceboxes in our kitchens since they stopped delivering ice in huge blocks from the backs of horse-drawn carts using ice tongs.
And that big appliance you use to cook … it’s not a stove. Stoves burn wood. It’s a range with an oven.
No wonder our country can’t convert to metric. We’re just plain stuck in our past.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Facebook Trap

"Religion is the opium of the people," is German philosopher Karl Marx's most paraphrased statement. Chances are you've heard it as "Religion is the opiate of the masses."

Well, that may have been (or may still be) true, but there's a new opiate that's infiltrated society throughout the world Facebook.

If you're reading this, chances are very good that you are also on Facebook, joining more than three-quarters of a billion people (800,000,000+) around the world. The social network has only been around for seven years, and was the subject of a very popular movie just this year.

Just last week, Facebook announced and implemented major changes to the way its network looks and operates, enraging many who just wanted things to remain the way it was. Can't say as I blame them, change is very hard to take.

You know how it is, once we get used to something, we want it to remain the same. It's like stuff we buy. Why, we ask, do they not continue producing products that we like? I personally have had to change my underwear brand so many times; every time I find one I like, they discontinue it.

Facebook has us (as the saying goes) by the short hairs. They have decided to "improve" things, not because they want more users, not because they want more revenue (estimated at more than $4 billion this year), but because they want to be more interactive with other sites and programs we use in our social interactions.

In other words, they want to be the "be-all" of social networking.

And you know what? I have no problem with that. After all, it's their Facebook, not mine. All I need to do is use it judiciously to meet my goals and objectives, and be careful what I post on Facebook and whom I accept as friends.

Because, as the tee shirt implies, once it's out there, you can't get it back.